I'm loving every minute of university life. So since last year Iíve been working for the Student's Union. In particular, Iíve been doing photography and sometimes news reporting for our university student-run newspaper. I usually do two shifts a week (thatís 10-20 hours a week with a flexible schedule), and as it is a student's union, I only work during term time. Well, I donít earn much in this job, but my salary is enough for socializing and paying the rent.
In fact, members of the students union have a lot of responsibilities. We are concerned with students' rights, living conditions as well as giving help with personal, social or academic worries, in other words, we can provide information on all aspects of student life.
It is true that in this job you have to be prepared for lots of intense communication and having lots of fun as well. Actually, we are creating and supporting a great number of clubs and societies. There is a university newspaper, radio station, film society, university theatre and dance studio, windsurfersí club and many others.
So if you like being in the thick of it then you should be really enthusiastic, cheerful, easy-going and creative person. It would be great if you are good at dealing with people, organizing and making decisions.
As for me, well photography has been my hobby since teenage years and I also developed skills in composing and word processing in my secondary school Poetry club.
Anyway, when you need money see if there are any jobs in the university bar, shop or any other facilities there.
Student 4 Pprogrammer
A good idea is to try and find a job related to the subject you're studying. It helps very much when you're applying for a job after you've got your degree; after all you show some vocational experience. It may be difficult, but at least when you're studying something technical, there are jobs available that are actually paid well.
As a student in Computer Science, Iíve recently found a job in a small company supporting the IT guys. So my job involves writing individual software for them. I am really well-paid, and itís not just a summer job, itís a part-time job throughout the year. So I work 20 hours a week.
Being a programmer is very challenging. You have to be very patient and careful with detail. It's pretty much impossible to do this job well unless you are
good at solving all sorts of problems, self-motivated, reliable and independent.
To tell you the truth, itís sometimes really hard to combine work and study. I mean, I often face up to meeting deadlines both at work and university. But a good salary and the experience Iím getting in this job outweigh all the difficulties.
(Adapted from: www.aplus-ummerjobs.com)
Module 7 Unit 2
Weíre on the university campus to talk to some of the young scientists working in the university labs and find out the myths and the facts about their jobs. Are they slaving in the lab 24 hours a day, or off down the pub at the earliest opportunity? How hard do some of young scientists really work?
ďI think I work hard - I know I do. I come to work from 9.30am till 9pm at night and I often work one day at the weekend. I mean you have to work long hours to get the result and to be able to show the outside world that you're publishing, and that you're at the cutting edge. I think you'll find that all scientists who enjoy what they are doing will work phenomenal hours.Ē
ďThere is no typical pattern to the day of a research scientist. When you are working in the lab everything revolves around the experiment that you are doing. Sometimes you can be working from early morning right through to late at night. I don't think you ever stop working. You even have ideas in your sleep. I'm involved in a number of educational projects; apart from that, I write scientific papers. Anyway, I'm happy to work these long days. That's what I mean about a passion for research.Ē
What do you think scientists feel is the best thing about their job? What gives them greatest satisfaction?
"Itís the excitement of discovering new things, of course, and the intellectual freedom. I can write articles about the science - about the research we do, about educational projects we lead. I love my job. I can't imagine other job where I would get as much satisfaction. Science is fun, challenging, exciting. I like the job satisfaction! You can find something new and exciting in a small way quite often. Mega things happen once in a lifetime."
"There're so many different 'best things'! Itís great when you have an idea of how something works, and you make a prediction that turns out right. It's great when you do a popular talk, and people understand something that they've never got before - that's a lovely feeling. Every day there's a challenge - some reason to come in and make a bit more progress on something YOU'RE interested in doing."
Science is sometimes seen as a race to be the first person to make that all-important discovery. If this is the case, how do scientists feel about sharing the results of their research along the way? If they do co-operate, aren't they worried someone could make the discovery first?// Is there any competition in science between researchers?
"Well you always hope you are going to be the first one to discover something new. As soon as we find we have good results, the usual way we go about it is by writing a scientific paper and trying to publish it in a high priority journal, so people around the world, who are interested in that topic, can read about it. That takes time though, so if you have people you can trust who are working in the area and you know there's no competition, then you talk to them about your results. If it's an important research area then there's definitely more than one person working on a certain subject, but this can all add to the excitement."
ďYou can never keep good news down. It always gets out, because everybody in this job is an enthusiast. Otherwise you wouldn't be doing it. If you're only going to make one great discovery in your life then it could probably annoy you, but if you think you're going to make another one and so on and so on, then it's fine. Some scientists don't like to share because they think that the work they are doing is going to be their 'one big chance', and so don't have the confidence to share the information or 'let it go' into the public arena.
As for me, I share my results with other scientists at conferences, or in papers, or at talks at universities. I quite enjoy sharing my results. Sometimes things do overlap, and either you'll get there first or not. But it can be quite nice to see an idea that you might have had, but not done anything about, getting developed in a paper by someone else. At least it's out there then."